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Create a new partition from an NTFS partition

Problem

On my laptops, I ran out of space under Ubuntu; the root partitions got full. The two cases were a bit different:

  1. On the first machine, I had a large NTFS partition where I stored multimedia stuff (movies, MP3s).
  2. On the second machine I had an NTFS partition with Windows 7 on it.

Before you read on, I want to warn you that resizing partitions may lead to complete data loss. It’s always a good idea to make some backups before doing anything risky. I take no responsibility if something goes wrong!

Goal: I wanted to cut off a piece from the end of the NTFS partition and create a new ext3 (or ext4) partition. For this, we need to resize the NTFS partition.

Let’s see the two cases:

  1. Resizing an NTFS partition with no Windows on it. Use Defraggler to defrag the partition. If everything goes well, the end of the partition will be empty. If this is not the case, run Defraggler once again. You can also run Windows’ own defrag utility. If the end of the partition is free, you can use gparted to resize the partition.
  2. Resizing an NTFS partition with Windows on it. Follow the instructions of the first step concerning the defragmentation. However, it can happen that you will have lots of free space at the end, but at the very end you’ll have some unmovable blocks, e.g. page file. Windows’ Disk Management can also shrink a partition, but in my case it didn’t work, I guess because of these unmovable elements. So I took the risk and resized the partition under Ubuntu with gparted. After reboot, everything was OK.

After resizing, when you reboot Windows for the first time, be prepared that it will check your disks. It’s normal, Windows noticed that the NTFS partition changed, it’s just doing its job.

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